CN to implement automated central pharmacy
4/12/2011 7:01:11 AM
 
Cherokee Nation Pharmacy Director Jeff Sanders and Pharmacist Amy Christie point out features of the tribe’s new central pharmacy’s automation system. Located at Three Rivers Health Center in Muskogee, Okla., the system will be used to fill prescriptions for pick-up at all CN medical facilities. COURTESY PHOTO
Cherokee Nation Pharmacy Director Jeff Sanders and Pharmacist Amy Christie point out features of the tribe’s new central pharmacy’s automation system. Located at Three Rivers Health Center in Muskogee, Okla., the system will be used to fill prescriptions for pick-up at all CN medical facilities. COURTESY PHOTO
By STAFF REPORTS MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Patients of the Cherokee Nation’s health system will soon enjoy faster, more efficient pharmacy services. A new central pharmacy located at Three Rivers Health Center in Muskogee features an automation system that will fill prescriptions for pick-up at all CN medical facilities and be used for mail order prescription services. Jeff Sanders, the tribal health system’s pharmacy director, said the central pharmacy’s automated system is efficient and capable of handling the large volume of prescriptions it’s expected to see. “With this system, we will be able to fill 10,000 prescriptions per eight hour shift,” said Sanders. “It will open with a staff of 11 including four pharmacists, five techs and two clerks.” Sanders said that most traditional pharmacies fill 100 to 180 prescriptions per pharmacist in a shift of eight hours. In 2010, CN pharmacies filled almost 1.25 million prescriptions. With its conveyor belts and quality check stations, the automated system has the appearance of a manufacturer’s assembly line. The system is software driven. It sorts, measures and packages prescriptions for distribution. The pharmacy staff will oversee the operation and be on hand to assure the quality of the prescriptions the system fills. Sanders said the transition to an automated central pharmacy will be seamless for patients and that there will be no interruption in their prescription drug supply. He also said he encourages patients to take advantage of the mail order prescription service available to them. “We want our people to sign up for mail order prescriptions,” he said. “It cuts down on lines at the clinics, and that makes patients a lot happier.” The new pharmacy service is scheduled to be in full use by all CN health centers by June 30.
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